Jeremy Hunt says leaker who cost Britain’s US ambassador Sir Kim Darroch his job ‘must be held fully to account’ as Scotland Yard is accused of ‘police state’ tactics against media
- Sir Kim Darroch’s emails leaked in which he called Trump administration ‘inept’
- Trump hit back and vowed he would never work with him as an ambassador
- Hunt defended the press and called for the leaker to be held ‘fully to account’
Jeremy Hunt has spoken out about the leaker who cost Britain’s US ambassador his job and said they ‘must be held fully to account’.
Sir Kim Darroch’s emails were released to the Mail on Sunday last weekend and revealed he had called Donald Trump’s administration ‘clumsy and inept’.
President Trump hit back and denounced him as a ‘very stupid guy’ and a ‘pompous fool’, vowing he would never work with him in his position as ambassador.
Jeremy Hunt has spoken out about the leaker who cost Britain’s US ambassador his job and said they ‘must be held fully to account’. Sir Kim Darroch’s emails revealed he had called Donald Trump’s administration ‘clumsy and inept’
Sir Darroch then resigned on Wednesday, saying his job was now ‘impossible’ as a result of the leak.
Scotland Yard’s assistant commissioner Neil Basu released a statement urging the press not to publish leaked documents and to instead hand them to police.
Conservative leadership hopeful Hunt then took to Twitter to show his support for finding whoever leaked the emails and holding them accountable.
He also showed his support of the press and their right to publish leaks after Scotland Yard’s Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu urged the press to hand such information into the police.
Assistant commissioner Neil Basu said he ‘urged’ media organisations ‘not to publish’ information that was leaked to them and instead hand it into the police
The Foreign Secretary said he would ‘defend to the hilt’ the right of the press to publish leaks they judge to be in the public interest
Rival Conservative leadership hopeful, Boris Johnson, also weighed in to defend the right of the press and said he was ‘perplexed’ by the assistant commissioner’s statement
The Foreign Secretary said he would ‘defend to the hilt’ the right of the press to publish leaks they judge to be in the public interest.
He added: ‘That is their job.’
Mr Basu said in his statement: ‘I would advise all owners, editors and publishers of social and mainstream media not to publish leaked government documents that may already be in their possession, or which may be offered to them, and to turn them over to the police or give them back to their rightful owner, Her Majesty’s Government.’
Rival Conservative leadership contender, Boris Johnson, also weighed in to defend the right of the press to publish what they deem to be in the public interest.
Former chancellor George Osborne, who is the current editor of the Evening Standard, took to Twitter to voice his criticisms of Mr Basu’s statement
He said he was ‘perplexed’ by Scotland Yard’s attitude.
‘I have just seen what Neil Basu has posted … but I don’t think that can possibly be right.
‘It is whoever leaked the diptel that should be prosecuted with the full force of the law.
‘Whoever has done it must be prosecuted, hunted down and prosecuted. But it cannot conceivably be right that newspapers or any other media organisation publishing such information should face prosecution.
‘There is no threat to national security … it’s embarrassing but it is not a threat to national security.’
Former chancellor George Osborne, who is the current editor of the Evening Standard, also spoke out and took to Twitter to criticise Scotland Yard for encroaching on press freedom.
He wrote: ‘If I were the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, and I wanted to maintain my credibility and the credibility of my force, I would quickly distance myself from this very stupid and ill-advised statement from a junior officer who doesn’t appear to understand much about press freedom.’
A Scotland Yard investigation into a breach of the Official Secrets Act is underway.